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Thread: Graflex SLR Issues Usage DIY & Improvements?

  1. #1
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Graflex SLR Issues Usage DIY & Improvements?

    The Graflex 4X5 Super D is the most desired model of the line. The D has the technological advance and huge advantage of auto aperture stop down when triggered. An internal lever trips with the shutter to allow a spring to move the aperture lever to a smaller preset

    Also makes a good working Super D very expensive to buy. A second consideration is the rolling curtain shutter which has ancient glue attaching the ends to wood rollers. The glue is failing on all of them. Repair is difficult and expensive. The curtains also dry rot.

    First links

    http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Graflex_reflex_models

    https://lommen9.home.xs4all.nl/index.html

    https://youtu.be/UUP_elCj-cc

    https://youtu.be/oYmRZ9DToqY

    https://youtu.be/IYguqLbidYo

    Repair https://lommen9.home.xs4all.nl/graflex/Series%20B.html
    Another way to shoot one from Lommen's link

    "Slow instantaneous exposures of about 1/5 second can be made with the curtain set at O (full opening) and tension 1. Pressure upon the shutter release causes the mirror to rise just before the curtain drops and thus closing the exposing aperture. When making slow instantaneous exposures the camera should be properly supported on a table or tripod."

    This I find very interesting as it may allow shooting with a broken curtain shutter. I need to try this ASAP

    as I have 2 VGC 2X3 B and 1 3X4 B with useless curtains that failed with a sickening flapping sound very shortly after buying them. No I did not return them.

    One 2X3 looks like new, but still broken...

    I also have a 4X5 B that works and has a period flash trigger mod.

    The 2X3 models are not easily taken apart as in the Lommen tutorial, I tried....

    I like the 3X4 models best as they are smaller and easier to hold. This month I finally got the 18 shot Bag Mag working after years of frustration with it jamming. I tried using the sheaths the other way around.

    Eureka!

    Then after my eureka moment I read the instructions online...thank you Pacific Camera!

    DUH!

    Please add to this thread with usable solutions and links
    Last edited by Tin Can; 17-Nov-2019 at 08:21. Reason: speeling...
    2022

  2. #2

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    Using modern holders on slotted cameras

    The older Graflexes use hard-to-find slotted holders. On a 4x5 Series D I made thicker spacers so that the sliding lock and seating bar covered the width of a modern film holder. You have to trim the rib and cut a slot on the holder for it to fit, so any converted holders are dedicated.

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  3. #3
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    Re: Graflex SLR Issues Usage DIY & Improvements?

    I have a Graflok-converted 4x5 Super D. Apparently you can get a drop curtain speed of ~1/10 too, at the higher spring tension. Unfortunately, the flash sync on mine is not functioning. I'd like to try some experiments with electronic flash at the drop curtain settings. But I'm all thumbs when it comes to repairs, and since the camera is otherwise in good working order I've been reluctant to take on the cost and hassle of sending it off for repair.

    FWIW, this page...

    http://www.tobiasfeltus.com/camerate...ex-rb-super-d/

    ...has some advice on the flash sync repair. Perhaps I'll summon the nerve to try it myself.

  4. #4
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Graflex SLR Issues Usage DIY & Improvements?

    2022

  5. #5

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    Re: Graflex SLR Issues Usage DIY & Improvements?

    The slotted 4x5 film holders are available there, but they are quite expensive. Slotted dry plate holders can be used with sheaths. I bought a 4x5 bag magazine with 12 sheaths, which is in very good condition and seems to work well. Havenít tried it.

  6. #6

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    Re: Graflex SLR Issues Usage DIY & Improvements?

    Quote Originally Posted by diversey View Post
    ...I bought a 4x5 bag magazine with 12 sheaths, which is in very good condition and seems to work well. Haven’t tried it.
    That's what I did for mine too. The two bag mags I bought were each less expensive than what one or two double-sided slotted holders typically go for. I prefer using the camera with the bag mags, especially handheld.
    Reid

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/rjbuzzclick/

  7. #7

    Re: Graflex SLR Issues Usage DIY & Improvements?

    I posed this before, but think it is worth bringing up again.

    I had SK Grimes make me an adapter for my 5x7 Home Portrait Graflex which allow me to use regular 5x7 film holders rather than the slotted ones. The adapter locks into the back just like a slotted film holder, and you can slide regular film holders in with no problem. The ground glass up top had to be shimmed by the thickness of the adapter and the different film positions in the holders, but it is a fairly easy fix and completely reversible.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20140703-IMGP4689.jpg   20140703-IMGP4691.jpg  

  8. #8
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    Re: Graflex SLR Issues Usage DIY & Improvements?

    Nice!
    2022

  9. #9
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    Re: Graflex SLR Issues Usage DIY & Improvements?

    Looking at Jason's 2014 post, I found this

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...=1#post1150231

    Very interesting conversion!
    2022

  10. #10

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    Re: Graflex SLR Issues Usage DIY & Improvements?

    Hello,
    I guess your got the description of the "Drop curtain" wrong. Mirror does not close the exposing aperture, it opens it. , and fter the mirror is all the way up the shutter is closed (which ofc still requires you to have a functioning shutter).
    So you will have to have your curtain replaced anyway, without it the camera is completely useless. I was able to reproduce speed graphic curtains with black-out fabric and shutter struts cut ouf of brass, and could make you a new curtain cheaply. If you are interested, you may send me the broken curtains (for i do not have a template for 4x5 Super D).
    Thanks,
    Alex

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